Monday, February 27, 2017

Marching Forth: Taking the Longest Route

I grew up spending several nights a week in a dance studio.  Exercise to me meant leg warmers and an hour or more of dancing around.  Exercise was following along with my Jane Fonda workout tape played on the VCR.  I remember being so excited when the Heart and Sole Aerobics Studio opened up in our local strip mall.  That first summer I went everyday.

The older I got the less time I had to "exercise."  I felt that there wasn't time to take an entire hour out of my day to drive to a gym and take a class.  Welcome to my twenties and my kids were born.  Hitting my thirties, my husband began to battle numerous health problems and I found myself to be a working parent and caregiving spouse.  After awhile, thoughts of exercising or working out never even entered my mind.

Then my weight began to climb.  My stress level was through the roof.  My blood pressure and cholesterol were battling for first place to see who could be my biggest health problem.  My doctor (and my mom) began to bug me about exercising.  I mentally dug out my old speech - "There was no time to take a class.  That would take an hour or more.  I can't do it.  I don't have time.  Plus, I'm way too tired."

One day my friend Jane, a Physical Therapist, told me something that really hit home.  Exercise is simply defined as increased movement. You mean I don't have to join a gym or sign-up for a class?  You mean I don't have to spend an entire hour-and-a-half of my day sweating and then have to take a second shower?  This is incredible!
 Exercise is   
So seven years ago I began to see how I could add movement to my day.  Parking at the far end of the grocery store parking lot.  Parking at the opposite end of the mall from the store I need to go to.  Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  Walking to talk with a co-worker rather than call on the phone.  Taking the longest route possible to get from point A to B.  Walking to the park located a street over instead of driving.  

I quickly began to discover that I physically felt better and had some more pep in my step.  I went from not moving much at all to seeing how much I could move in a day.  I began to take walks during lunch or after dinner.  My amount of movement kept building more and more.  Those small steps taken to increase my movement led to running 5ks, taking a weekly Zumba class and hitting the gym with my kids - all things that I still do today seven years later.  But I started with that small step of simply trying to move a little bit more every day.

Are you stuck in the I-don't-have-time rut?  Are you so tired by the end of the day that you can't move?  At the same time, are you ready to make a change and live a healthier life, but are struggling to do so?

Here is a great way to March Forth toward a healthier life - re-define exercise.  Commit to increasing your movement during the day.  It is a fun and easy way to start. The possibilities are endless of what you can do!
I will park at the far end of the grocery store parking lot.
I will use the restroom at the far end of the hallway.  
I will take the stairs to my fourth floor office in the morning instead of the elevator.

Remember - you got this!  Take it one small step at a time.
Happy March Fourth!

No comments:

Post a Comment